In my previous post I mentioned about Yogamudrasana happening spontaneously. To be honest, that experience did scare me a little! So, the next night my first instinct was to try resisting falling into meditation but then I decided to go with the flow. As I got deeper into meditation I again saw something with my closed eyes…
(Seeing images or visions during meditation has only happened three times in my entire spiritual journey till date, and that too only in the earlier part of my initiation/awakening)!
Now, unlike my previous experiences, I don’t remember the visuals in this particular experience very clearly so it’s a bit difficult to write about what exactly I saw. But it involved seeing another ‘me’ sitting right in front of me and facing me, just as if I were seeing myself in a mirror, but with closed eyes. Next, that image changed into that of Shiva (judging by the body, clothes and accessories). But when I moved my gaze upwards to see his face I saw my own face there. Before I could think of anything else, that mirror image of mine raised the Trishul (the Trident) in its hand and hit me with it. Since I was looking straight in front, towards the image, I couldn’t see where exactly I was hit by the trident….but it was near my navel region. However, I wasn’t sure if it was exactly at my navel or below (all this happened in a matter of a few seconds). Immediately after getting hit by the trident my body was again stormed by violent kriyas, which were similar, but less intense, to those that I witnessed a night before, when Yogamudrasana happened spontaneously. The kriyas happened for a while and when they gradually stopped I again saw (with closed eyes) my mirror image sitting in front of me – with the body of Shiva. This time that image lifted a small lamb and put it into my lap. Then that image quickly disappeared! Immediately afterwards, I opened my eyes and came out of meditation, wondering what just happened!
The whole experience was so strange, at so many different levels that I decided to discuss it with my friends Lambu and Chhotu. They suggested that maybe I was being taught the meaning of the mantra/ concept of ‘Shivoham’. But even they had no answer about the significance of that image hitting me with a trident and then putting that lamb in my lap.
As mentioned earlier, those days I was ignorant about internet and my main source for spiritual information was Baba’s books. In his books, there was a mention about Manipura chakra being in the navel region; so I thought that maybe getting hit at navel by the trident indicated something happening at my Manipura chakra. However, this seemed highly unlikely because I was just a beginner and if something was really happening with my chakras then it should have been Muladhara (the first chakra, at which the Kundalini awakens, rather than Manipura which is the third chakra). Furthermore, since I didn’t see the exact spot where I was hit I could have very well been hit below my navel too. Anyways it was too embarrassing to discuss with my friends so I just let it go, believing that time will clear all the mysteries. Furthermore, since I didn’t find anything about the significance of seeing a lamb in meditation, in any of baba’s books, I thought that may be what I saw was the result of one of my own idle thoughts during meditation.
However, deep in my heart I knew this was not the case!
Over time other things happened and my attention was diverted to those experiences but this experience continued to reside at the back of my mind….like an elusive mystery!
Time flew past and now I was performing spontaneous asanas during meditation. Interestingly many of those asanas were related to Manipura chakra like Dhanurasana and Yogamudrasana. I later began performing Jalandhar and Uddiyan Bandha too! (Uddiyan Bandha being particularly related to the Manipura chakra) After a little retrospection, I noticed that after the spontaneous asanas and bandhas started – my stomach ailments initially worsened but then gradually disappeared completely, without any medication. It was both surprising and relieving as previously I was always troubled by stomach related problems, so much so, that I never ate breakfast before going to school or college. (Interestingly, I recently came to know that my IBS could have further been related to me being an ‘Empath’ , as Empaths tend to have an open or overactive Solar Plexus/Manipuara Chakra)
Anyways, all these events presented a strong case that something was happening that was related to my Manipura chakra but I still didn’t understand why Manipura when it should have been Muladhara? Also that lamb remained a mystery…
About one year after seeing that image in mediation, I stumbled upon an exciting piece of information while I was reading a spiritual magazine. We had the subscription of ‘Akhand Jyoti’ (from the Gayatri Pariwar) and, while I was flipping through the pages of that magazine, I saw an article about Kundalini and chakras. There it was mentioned that many Chakras have their own specific Vahana or vehicle (which is an animal). Any guesses – what may be the Vahana for Manipura Chakra? Yes, it’s the sheep (or ram/lamb) indeed!
Now this piece of information seemed to offer a substantial support to my theory that what I saw during meditation had something to do with my Manipura Chakra. Just imagine, out of all the animals in the world I see a lamb being put into my lap after being hit by a trident around my navel region, after which I begin performing asanas related to Manipura Chakra and my Stomach problems disappear. Too many coincidences, isn’t it?
However, there was still one thought that plagued my mind. If Kundalini is supposed to reside and awaken at the Muladhara (the root or the first Chakra) then how come in my case I experienced activities related to Manipura Chakra (the third chakra) first? It took me 12 years to get a satisfactory answer to this question.
I had mentioned in one of my previous posts that “I got hold of a book that provided an in-depth insight about one of my spiritual experiences, the answer to which I had been searching for a long time”. I was actually referring about this specific experience and the name of that book is ‘Kundalini Tantra’ by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, who is a highly revered Yoga Master and a renowned disciple of Swami Sivananda.
According to Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Kundalini Tantra, 2002), “Although Kundalini is said to reside in Muladhara Chakra, we are all at different stages of evolution, and in some of us Kundalini may have already reached Swadhithana, Manipura or Anahata Chakra. If this is so, whatever sadhana you do might start an awakening in Anahata or some other Chakra”.
To be honest, this argument does make a lot of sense to me! Consider two different individuals – the first one enjoys cruelty and inflicting pain on other individuals while the second individual enjoys devotion and loving other individuals. Would you still say that both of these individuals are at the same level of spiritual evolution?
Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Kundalini Tantra, 2002) further elaborates that – “If Kundalini awakens in an individual chakra, the experiences which are characteristic of that chakra will be brought into consciousness”. He says that – “Because Muladhara chakra is the highest chakra in animal evolution, it is already functioning in most people. That is why everybody has a very acute sexual awareness and sex has become one of the most important events in man’s life. The mere fact that today’s society is utilizing the five tattwas of tantra (meat, fish, wine, grain and sexual interaction) in everyday life means that in most people, kundalini is somewhere between Muladhara and Swadhisthana. Once kundalini leaves Swadhisthana and ascends to Manipura and Anahata, you no longer need the five tattwas”.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati further emphasizes that – “in sincere sadhakas, kundalini is mostly in Manipura. If you are exposed to spiritual life, practice yoga, have a keen desire to find a guru and to pursue a higher life, side by side with the work you are doing, it means Kundalini is not in Muladhara – it is in Manipura or one of the higher centers”. In fact, “according to the Buddhist tradition and many of the tantric texts, the actual awakening of Kundalini takes place from Manipura and not from Muladhara. And in some tantric traditions, Muladhara and Swadhisthana are not referred to at all, as these two centers are believed to belong to the higher realms of animal life, whereas from Manipura onwards higher man predominates. So Muladhara is the seat of Kundalini, Swadhisthana is the abode, and the Awakening takes place in Manipura. This is because from Manipura the awakening becomes ongoing and there is practically no danger of a downfall or devolution of consciousness. Up to this point, Kundalini may awaken and arise many times, only to recede again, but awakening of Manipura is what we call a confirmed awakening” (Kundalini Tantra, 2002).
However, Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Kundalini Tantra, 2002) also warns that – “when we talk about awakening we should not confuse awakening of Kundalini with other forms of awakening. Awakening of Chakras is completely different from awakening of Kundalini. Awakening of Sushumna is also quite a different event, and awakening of Muladhara chakra is not awakening of kundalini. Even if all the chakras from Muladhara to Agya are awakened this does not mean that Kundalini is awakened.”
To be honest, this last piece of information left me a bit confused – whether what I experienced and have been experiencing is actually Kundalini awakening or just a Chakra awakening. I’m sure that over time I’ll get the answer for this question too but I guess till then it’s enough to get an indication that I’m going in the right direction.
However, if any of you have some insights related to my experience or on the topic of ‘awakening of chakras versus awakening of kundalini’ then I will be very grateful if you could share them with me. Thanks in advance! 🙂
Edit: 17 December 2013
I was confused between Chakra awakening, Sushumna Awakening, and Kundalini Awakening, but now, I guess, I may have an idea about those remaining answers too!
To begin with – Kundalini Awakening is said to happen only when Prana begins to flow inside the Sushumna! Now, how can Prana flow inside Sushumna or any chakra if they are in a closed state? Obviously, the ROAD (Sushumna) and the CROSSING (Chakra) need to be clear (fully or partially) before anything can pass through them, otherwise it will cause a traffic-jam situation, isn’t it? If Kundalini awakens before opening of Chakras and Sushumna it will have nowhere to flow and may even cause complications…
However, normally (i.e. before Kundalini Awakening) Prana tends to flow through other Nadis (The major ones being Ida and Pingala). Additionally, although, the open chakras may still get their presence felt (in terms of Empathy or heightened ego – Manipura) even before the Kundalini is awakened but at those times the prana may be flowing outside the Sushumna – i.e in other nadis ex. Ida or Pingala. Also the number and intensity of symptoms related to various chakras may depend upon how ‘open’ or active those chakras are. Therefore, symptoms of a balanced chakra may be different from those of a closed chakra or an overactive chakra.
Update (10th Jan 2014):
Until now, the only reliable theory which supported my belief that my Kundalini indeed awakened from the Manipura was the one propagated by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, but today I found one more support in the words of none other than the great siddha and Shaktipat master Swami Vishnu Tirtha.
Source: Shaktipat Kundalini Mahayog by Swami Vishnu Tirtha
Swami Vishnu Tirtha, the author of well acclaimed spiritual text – ‘Devatma Shakti’, revealed some more secrets about shaktipat in his book titled ‘SHAKTIPAT’. In the book ‘Shaktipat’, swami Vishnu Tirtha clearly mentions that – “it is not necessary that Shakti will awaken from Muladhara only. Awakening can happen from any chakra. It is also not necessary that chakras will be realized in a sequential manner only. Sometimes one chakra may be active and at other times another. Sometimes kriyas related to 2-3 chakras may occur simultaneously. Same goes with the Koshas….”
Update: July 11, 2015
Some links that suggest that the seat of Kundalini is in the navel centre:
Another source hinting that Kundalini can be aroused from any centre (including Manipura) – http://www.kamakotimandali.com/srividya/ashtakam.html – [“As swami shivananda says, Kundalini can be aroused from any Chakra, though the simplest is to do so from Muladhara. The great occultist Swami Punyananda meditated on the Devi directly in Sahasraara and achieved Siddhi. However this may not be possible to all. So lets stick to Muladhara, for which the place of concentration is actually the sthanam or kshetram of Ajna.”]
Yet another source –
Source: Saundarya-lahari of Srisamkaracarya with commentaries; English translation and notes by R. Anantakrsna Sastri and Karra Ramamurthy Garu.
This indicates that the labor of awakening/activating Kundalini and moving it through some of the chakras does not go to complete waste, even if the practitioner fails to leads the Kundalini to its final destination (sahasrar) in a given lifetime… so that means the practitioner would begin his kundalini journey from whichever chakra he last left rather than having to begin all over again from the muladhara…